On Wednesday, the U.S. Justice Department unsealed a series of federal charges against New York Republican Representative George Santos, who is currently in custody. Santos willingly surrendered himself at the Alfonse M. D’Amato courthouse in Central Islip, New York, and is scheduled to appear before a judge later in the day.
Santos has been charged with 13 offenses in total, which include seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of public funds theft, and two counts of providing false statements to the House of Representatives. These charges follow a long series of false claims and misrepresentations by Santos, which shocked even veteran political observers.
His fabrications included false claims about his ancestry, educational qualifications, professional background, and athletic achievements. Additionally, there have been significant concerns raised about his financial practices, especially the rapid accumulation of wealth despite recent monetary issues like evictions and unpaid rent.
Democrat Rep. Ritchie Torres released a statement following the charges saying that the criminal prosecution of Santos is “long overdue.”
The statement reads:
“He is a pathological liar and lawbreaker who lied to the voters of New York State and defrauded his way into the United States Congress.”
“About 800,000 Americans have been continually deprived of the honest representation they deserve in the People’s House. Although the details of the federal prosecution are not yet fully known, one thing is crystal clear – either Rep. Santos must resign or House Republican leadership, under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, must summon the courage to join House Democrats in expelling him. Rep. Santos is a deep rot of corruption at the core of Congress.”
Santos will make his own statement after his court appearance, and he is expected to face trial at a federal court in New York’s eastern district.